This fits into a trend that has existed for a long time: "Economic sanctions have become a favored diplomatic tool over the past decade," said Peter van Bergeijk of Erasmus University. The economic damage of opponents has always been part of the arsenal of states. In the 1990s, however, this weapon was drawn more frequently. Bergeijk sees the reasons for this as the fall of the Eastern bloc, which made it easier for the sanctions-imposing states to form a united front, for example in 1990 against Iraq. In addition, there was increasing international networking, which created greater dependencies between states. "Globalization opened up many economies that previously could hardly be harmed by sanctions," says the economist. He now sees a larger, “second wave of sanctions” rolling. While the number of corresponding measures increased by almost 60 percent in the 1990s, an increase of 73 percent followed from 2010 onwards. Reasons for this include the "new cold war" between the USA and China, the confrontations with Russia and the increased tendency of governments to view trade as a "strategic field". The declared sanctions goals range from the enforcement of human rights to regime change to the end of wars. The main actor is the US, where economic sanctions have become a feature of foreign policy, explains Anders Aslund of the Atlantic Council. The EU follows in second place. It is no wonder that the USA and Europe in particular are using the economy as a weapon. Sanctions are an instrument of the economically powerful. Because in order for them to take effect, there must firstly be intensive business relationships with the sanctioned country. "Sanctions cannot change the behavior of affected governments if the volume of trade between sender and addressee is negligible," explains Bergeijk. Second, the damage must be greater for the addressee than for the sender. It is therefore no wonder that there is no known case of an African country blocking trade with North-West Europe. It is unclear whether sanctions will work at all.
|Media of output||Frankfurter Rundschau|
|Publication status||Published - 19 Jan 2022|